Have you considered IGB ( http://www.indiegamebusiness.com )?
At the suggestion of several posts on these forums, I've been looking at AWeber as a possible replacement for YMLP for my newsletter base -- not that I have big problems with YMLP, but it looks like AWeber is far more feature-rich (and with things I actually would use and that might help grow my business). The deal-breaker problem, though, is that AWeber insists on sending an email to all of my subscribers requiring them to take affirmative action to opt-in to my list (again, since they already did that at YMLP over the years). I understand their reasons, but, well, I ain't going to do that.
The real purpose of this post, though, is not to debate the merits of AWeber's policy. As I say, I understand their reasons, and they can run their business as they wish. I don't think that debate would be productive. Rather, I'm wondering whether anyone has made such a move, and could report on what the attrition rate was?
I know what you mean about AWeber. I had one third of my customers approve my aweber request after one week. That means two thirds of my customers did not. I've talked to them about it.
From what I can see, their first priority is the ISP relationships. Their last priority is customers. They treat you like a criminal. I had to contact them via voice chat to get them to approve 80% of my list. That's just to give your customers the CHANCE to be on the list. They still have to approve your request.
I don't think AWeber understands the concept of developers trying to e-mail their customers their own news related to the games/services, and not third party offers. AWeber seems to think that everybody who signs up with them is a marketer who is trying to screw over each person. NO, these are just our customers who we are trying to stay in touch with because if we e-mail them from our shared hosting, none of the AOL customers will get it, as well as those with some other ISPs.
The fourth problem is that, duh, after signing up, customers can simply click the SPAM button in their e-mail client, or click the unsubscribe link in the e-mail, and they are off the list. So why even force every customer who is imported to double-opt-in? It's easy enough for them to get off the list, instantly. This means two thirds of my customers haven't even received 1 newsletter, and they're already not even on it.
The fifth problem is that the message that the customers receive is unclear. It lets you customize the first paragraph, but the second paragraph states "Click the link above to give us permission to send you information. http://www.aweber.com/?XXX"
It sounds like spam. That stupid paragraph is what causes the sixth problem: it makes people think this is a virus or a spoof e-mail because the link is to their web site. The seventh problem: It says that it is a request for information. People will think, I didn't request anything! And will not respond. How idiotic is that?
Imagine, Princec adds you to the list and you get that e-mail. Even though he can customize the first paragraph, the second paragraph of the e-mail that you will get to confirm that you know this company, sounds like it is fake spam. And that will throw things into the customer's brain that they didn't request information.
However, because their ISP relationships are clearly their first priority, they do say they deliver about 95% or more of the e-mails straight to the user's Inbox (not spam folder.) They also say that their competitors deliver as few as 50%.
Aweber is geared towards this: A customer visits a web site. They want to get more information about some newsletter about stock picks. They sign up on the web form. They confirm that they wanted to sign up when they receive the verification e-mail. Great!
This does not work for developers and I hope Aweber gets its head out of its butt. That's not the cycle for people who sell digital products. They buy the product before even signing up for any newsletter. Then you want them on the list, so you call aweber's script to add the new customer's e-mail to your list. That customer now receives an e-mail that says "Click here to confirm that you requested information!" AND YOU'RE NOT trying to send this person spam or third party offers. But that's what that line makes the customer think. And of course they won't confirm. I wouldn't confirm, why should my customers? And that will happen for every new customer.
Here is the actual text that is sent to every customer you import or add after they buy:
CONFIRM BY VISITING THE LINK BELOW:
Click the link above to give us permission to send you
information. It's fast and easy! If you cannot click the
full URL above please copy and paste it into your web
Or, if you prefer, reply to this message with the
confirmation key in the subject line.
Last edited by Omega; 04-04-2006 at 09:35 AM.
It sounds like he already has a sizable YMLP mailing list, but is worried that if people must re-confirm their subscription, they might not remember or realise what it's for and not confirm (then only realise months later that 'that nice monthly/weekly/daily e-mail never gets here anymore').
If he gets revenue from the subscribers (them buying games they read about on a message from the list), then it can be a problem if it goes away. I think AWeber doesn't allow importing in their GUI, because spammers will use it to import their spam lists, but if I'm not mistaken, they do have a procedure that will allow people to import all their addresses from another list - I think you just need to contact them.
They've gotta do it to cover their butts.
Main reason why still run our own email list here. Our email list is over 200k now and takes quite a while to get out as have to throttle delivery speed way back to main services or get temporarily greylisted. The email services do this stuff for a living and know how to get around that. I've seen the big sites get around it also and run their own email servers. Gotta be some trick they all know. Anyone know the trick?
Multiple mail servers on different IP addresses? >>shrug<<Originally Posted by arcadetown
Brian, how long does it take to send out your 200k messages? Are you using your own software or something you bought from somewhere else? I've written my own little throttled queue but haven't started using it yet. I need to though, since I'm getting some first signs of trouble. I'm curious what kind of delay you've found has to be put between messages sent to the same domain.
Deleted a couple prior flame messages. SoniCron stop baiting people and Omega don't take the bait.
Nope, I did contact them. They do have a method to import subscribers, but after you do so they send an email to everyone on your list requiring that they reaffirm their interest. No exceptions. And as I said, I understand their reasons. They've decided that better relationships with ISPs give them a competitive edge, at the cost of potential customers like me. Fine.Originally Posted by revve
I appreciate Omega's report that only a third of his subscribers clicked through to reaffirm their interest; that's what I was asking about. I figured it would be something like that, and it confirms my decision not to take the chance. Thanks, O.
I setup a mailing list service for a client of mine about a month ago (I do this sort of general IT consulting during the day) - I'll be making it available publicly (YMLP/AWeber clone) once I've had a chance to make a nice, general WWW interface for it (the backend is up-and-running and is processing several thousand messages a day).Originally Posted by arcadetown
What I did was the following:
1.) Make sure your e-mail server(s) are setup properly. Proper reverse DNS, setup follows specifications, etc.
2.) The controller is on my main server (Dual 64bit 3.0ghz Zeon - hubba hubba)
3.) 5 small servers (1 physical server, 4 vps) each with multiple IP addresses on different class C ranges.
4.) My software splits job up into multiple parts. Each part is assigned to a source IP on a server (if one server has 10 IPs, that server can handle 10 simultanious jobs)
5.) Each job is throttled, but since 50-odd parts runs at the same time, the list flies out at a tremendous rate.
6.) Domains are split up. Eg if a list has 200 hotmail.com recipients, each of the 50 parts will deliver 4 messages. The queue will ensure that one message is sent in the beginning of the queue, the next is approx 25% through, the next 50%, etc. This means you don't flood servers with tons of messages and your servers/messages are treated like a normal message.
7.) If it's a slow hour/day/whatever and a queue only has lots of messages for one domain, it will throttle it as well (send one message, disconnect, wait 30 seconds, send one message, disconnect, wait 30 seconds, ........ ) This rarely happens
Interesting. Here using Gammadyne mmail as good scripting, database tie-ins, multi-threaded, and lots of settings. Lots of software like it available. Run with 5 threads per ip on 6 ips, throttle services like yahoo, hotmail/msn, aol/netscape, and gmail to about 40 - 100 seconds per message per ip. Also pause every couple hundred msgs per ip for 30 min to break possible greylisting. 10 days to get 200k list out. Sort of thinking the bigs do something more, such as actively get whitelisted on main email sources so can burst msgs at higher rates.
There are many ways of doing it. The way I did it is completely overkill for one company's mailing list, but I built it with the goal to grow (and host other people's lists). I didn't charge them for the whole setup - I did the whole thing out of my own pocket - I'm simply selling them the service of distributing their mailing lists.
The advantage of my setup is it takes me 30 minutes to add another node (install a database, compile a c++ program on the new node, install lighttpd on new node, install few php files and add one entry to mysql db on big server).
I just watched a job go through - it took just over 20 minutes to send a message to 3000 recipients. There's plenty of free capacity when sending at this speed - the main reason it takes this long is my client mostly has local clients it send messages to, and in South Africa, most small businesses has an e-mail address of email@example.com - they aren't really educated enough to get their own domain name. With the way I do it, if I have a more varied amount of e-mail servers/domains, I can send messages faster, but the less destination servers I have, the slower it goes, due to throttling.
200k messages? I'll probably be able to get it out in around 20 hours - maybe less (with lots of spare bandwidth and cpu capacity), depending on how many different domains everything gets sent to. I am, however still tweaking, so it might speed up or slow down. The only reason it's this slow is due to throttling - that and my software only spawns one thread per IP (it still needs work).
And no, I'm not selling my services. I still have way too much work left on this system before I can start selling it's services to the public.
And yes, the big companies does do more - they actively make sure they are whitelisted at companies like hotmail, gmail, isps, etc. They will also follow up about any blacklisting and make sure that they are removed from blacklists.
Much thanks to Revve and Brian for the detailed information. It gave me a few ideas for my own project.
At 3000 msgs in so little time you may wish to check that you're not getting a bunch of rejections due to greylisting. Greylisting happens when too many msgs in a short period of time to hotmail for example, and is temporary condition.
Anyone know how to go about getting whitelisted? Anyone know a company that deals with doing that for you?
Is that really so fast? Revve is throttling by individual recipient domains, so presumably he's not firing messages at hotmail.com or any other individual domain faster than one every 30 seconds. And he's got a bunch of extra IP addresses to send mail from. By my calcs, he can send 40 e-mails to the same domain in 20 minutes for each IP address he is using.Originally Posted by arcadetown
Each domain is throttled - worst case scenario, hotmail will see 50 simultanious connections from 50 different ip addresses in 5 different geographical locations.
How it works, I won't send 10 hotmail emails in one go from one IP, I'll send one to hotmail, send to 20 other domains, send one to hotmail, send others, etc. I don't pause between sending messages, because I never send two messages to one domain consecutively, so one domain/server will never be flooded.
The only time I pause is if I don't have enough messages to cause the "natural" delay between two messages to one domain.